Social media has changed the way people communicate with the people and world around them. It has also changed the way companies communicate with their customers.
Many businesses are anxious to use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, and the plethora of other social media sites to connect with their target audiences. However, not everyone is interested in a constant bombardment of sales pitches and promotions from thousands of companies vying for their attention.
To stand out from the crowd and capture the engagement you’re looking for on social media, it’s imperative you follow the 80/20 rule. What’s the 80/20 rule? It’s very simple:
80% of your posts on social media should be useful, informative, non-promotional content.
20% of your posts can be about products, services, events, discounts, and other promotional content.
Over time, we and many others in the marketing world have discovered that the quickest way to alienate people from a business’s social media is to focus primarily on what the business is trying to sell. While businesses think they’re getting the word out about their products and services, all customers see are advertisements. In response, those current and potential customers will ignore any and all posts from that business, which results in social media providing no benefit to the company.
Instead, customers want to interact with companies. They want to see the human side. They want information that will be useful to them. With that in mind, companies have an opportunity to connect with their customers and build long-lasting relationships, but only if they treat social media as primarily an engagement and relationship-building tool, not just as an advertising platform.
The end result is that over time, companies will build loyalty and engagement with customers, which will eventually lead to more sales. It’s important to remember, though, that unlike other marketing tools, social media takes nurturing and patience. But, as many companies have discovered, putting in the time and effort necessary can pay massive dividends in the future.
We’ll note that to make the most of the 80/20 rule, companies need to abide by a few guidelines:
- Don’t disguise promotional content as helpful information for the 80% content. Customers can see through that tactic quickly and will respond accordingly.
- Be consistent. Don’t start strong then die off after a few weeks if you don’t get the results you want. Social media takes time to grow, but when it does, it can provide powerful results.
- Listen to your customers. Those you interact with on social media will be happy to provide feedback, so long as you show you’re interested in listening to it. These folks can be a great resource when seeking information about how customers perceive your business and products or services.
- Have fun. Don’t be afraid to have fun with followers on social media. As long as that fun isn’t at anyone’s expense, it can show customers that the company and its leaders are down-to-earth and approachable.
- Respond quickly to questions and concerns. Customers will voice their opinions on social media. Be quick to respond to legitimate questions and concerns from customers, and avoid engaging in any attacks or trolling.
Ultimately, social media can be a powerful marketing tool for companies, so long as they approach it with the right mindset. When it comes to posting content on social media, businesses will be best served following the simple 80/20 rule.
For more information about how to get your social media going, or if you have any questions about this or any other marketing, contact our team today at 501-372-0393.